Day 4 of Culinary School

Today was my fourth day at the Natural Gourmet Institute. I am well on my way to becoming a natural foods chef, yet I have not cooked anything! Tomorrow is our Basic Cook Techniques 1 class so we will actually be cooking, yippee!

How cute do I look in that skullcap? With a sideways name tag? It may not be the most attractive uniform but it’s exciting to see everyone dressed up in such professional looking attire. Did you know chefs are not allowed to wear their uniforms on the street for sanitation purposes? That is one of many cleanliness-related things I learned during Monday’s sanitation lecture. Basically what I learned is that people are disgusting and my kitchen really needs to be scrubbed. Hopefully my new hygiene habits at school will carry over to my everyday life and I will magically become more organized and my apartment will become spotless…

Tuesday we had a lecture about different types of kitchen equipment and then in the afternoon we got our knives and started practicing our Japanese knife skills. We did French knife skills on Wednesday, but I think I like my Japanese knife better because French knives feel kind of stuck up and boring, and I also didn’t cut myself with my Japanese knife. (Yes I cut myself already and no I didn’t take a picture even though I know you want to see it.)

I’ve tried so many new fruits and veggies the last two days I couldn’t even name them all if I tried. I’m weirdly picky about fruits (it’s a texture thing) and only ate apples and watermelon for the first 20 years of my life. Then slowly over the last two years I’ve added blueberries, strawberries and bananas to my diet. Well yesterday I put my game face on and tried everything including weird things like persimmon and passion fruit as well as normal things I never ate like grapes, oranges and peaches. I liked almost everything except I’m still not a huge fan of the citrus texture although I like the flavor of oranges. Grapes are SO GOOD though! I never tried them because I was so grossed out once in first grade when my friend skinned a grape with her mouth and showed me the disembodied skin on her tongue (makes me gag just thinking about it). My lifelong aversion to the sweet juicy berries was overcome yesterday and I can now say I am a grape fan.

What does a chef-in-training eat for dinner? Leftover chopped veggies from knife skills of course!

I roasted up some Brussels Sprouts, butternut squash and a plantain in olive oil. This was the first time I ever cooked plantains and while they came out much drier than I anticipated they really reminded me of the plantain chips they serve at Señor Pollo, I digged it but I wish I had some of Señor Pollo’s green dipping sauce to go with them.

Served with brown rice, a fried egg and soy sauce I had a complete and tasty meal! Some of the egg yolk escaped whilst cooking and looks funky, but it still tasted good and that’s all that matters right?

I’m excited for my last class of the week and then a fun-filled weekend with really mild weather. Is this really February?

Henry's excited too.

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